Beirut rocked by midnight suicide bomb attack
The attack happened near a cafe where people were gathered to watch the World Cup. (AFP/File)
A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle outside a cafe near a Lebanese Army checkpoint in Beirut late Monday, wounding 12 people and killing one, security sources said.
The attack, shortly before midnight, further frayed the nerves of Lebanese already on edge over the resumption of deadly attacks linked to the civil war in Syria.
The sources said a suicide bomber driving a 1960s red Mercedes blew himself up near an Army checkpoint in Tayyouneh, at one of the main entrances into the capital’s southern suburbs. According to the sources, the car was moving against traffic when it exploded, thus confirming the premise that a suicide bomber carried out the attack.
“The suicide bomber is a suspected Syrian man,” a security source said.
The sources said several people were wounded at a cafe, where many residents gathered to watch the Brazil vs. Cameroon game as part of the World Cup.
The Lebanese Red Cross confirmed that the explosion did not result in deaths but several customers of the Abou Assaf cafe sustained “light wounds.”
As soon as the explosion was heard, dozens of people flocked to the bombing site, prompting the Lebanese Army to fire shots in the air to disperse the crowds and facilitate rescue and evacuation operations. Eyewitnesses said that the remains of a human body – specifically of brain matter – were found at the site of the bombing.
Some of the remains landed on a balcony on the fourth floor of a nearby building, they added.
The eyewitnesses noted that the bombing caused significant material damages and several cars were wrecked as a result of the explosion.
A suicide bombing at a police checkpoint on the Beirut-Damascus highway last Friday fueled fears of violent spillover from Syria and Iraq. A police officer was killed and 33 people were wounded in the bombing that closely missed a senior security official.
Sources had said earlier that forces were hunting for two potential suicide bombers in Beirut as well as a huge bomb-laden truck.